Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes
Since we all know I’m not a vegetarian, I think it’s pretty safe to assume I’m no where near being a vegan (not even a little bit). I’ve never baked anything vegan (always wondered how they did it with no milk, butter or eggs) until now. We were recently invited over to a friend’s house for dinner and I asked what I could bring. They suggested a dairy-free dessert (allergies, I suppose), so I decided to give vegan baking a whirl. Since strawberries are in season (at least in the U.S. right now), I thought why not give vegan strawberry shortcakes a try!?
So here they are, folks. Turns out, vegan shortcakes are pretty awesome. I didn’t miss the dairy and eggs at all! They have a great crumbly texture – just like shortcakes should – and they’re delicious!
I started with a simple shortcake recipe and substituted the butter for margarine and the egg and heavy cream for coconut milk. Margarine has enough butter-like qualities that it works in baking, and the coconut milk adds the fat and moisture that you would get from the cream and egg.
Mix it all together with some dry ingredients, and voila – shortcake batter!
The batter makes enough for 6-7 large shortcakes. They tend to expand a bit in the oven, so give them enough space. Baked goods like space.
I sliced up the strawberries and tossed them with about a tablespoon of sugar to help bring out the sweetness and juiciness of the berries.
I put it all together with a bit of “whipped cream” which I made using cold coconut milk and a about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. You have to use coconut milk with a high fat content (did I mention that these really aren’t that healthy, despite being vegan?) and refrigerate the milk overnight so that the fatty milk on the top of the can partly solidifies. The coconut milk I used wasn’t high enough in fat and the whipped cream wasn’t very stiff. Next time I’ll splurge for the good quality coconut milk. I actually really like the flavor of the cream with coconut milk instead of whipping cream and might opt for coconut whipped cream more often.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes – makes 6-7 cakes
Adapted from the recipe by Joy the Baker
2 c All-Purpose Flour
1/4 c Sugar, plus 1 tbsp (for strawberries)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Salt
1/3 c Cold Margarine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 c Coconut Milk (liquid)
16 oz Strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1 Can Very Cold Coconut Milk (solidified)
1/4 c Powdered Sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the margarine and mix with the dry ingredients using your fingers. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the coconut milk and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Using a large spoon, drop the dough into six or seven mounds, spaced about three inches apart, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the sheet half way through, or until just golden brown on the edges. Place cakes on a cooling rack. Toss the strawberries with 1 tbsp of sugar and set aside in a bowl. In a medium size bowl, add the fatty, solidified top layer of coconut milk (drink or save for later the coconut water in the bottom of the can). Add the powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until very fluffy. Slice each shortcake in half lengthwise. Place the bottom half of the cakes on separate plates or bowls and top with strawberries and the whipped coconut cream. Place the other half of the shortcake on top and serve.
Nutrition Information: You don’t want to know – just enjoy it and know that at least these are vegan!